Is Google Glass ‘Too Dorky to Live’?
Google Glass, the company’s new high-tech Internet-connected eyewear, has been getting a lot of attention and press. But Wired‘s Marcus Wohlsen believes Google Glass may hit a major speed bump on its projected path to being the next big thing — it might be, in his words, “to dorky to live.” In making his argument, Wohlsen makes a distinction between nerdiness and dorkiness, writing, “While nerdiness implies a certain social awkwardness that’s ultimately endearing, dorkiness connotes social obliviousness that opens you to deserved ridicule. Guess which category Google Glass will fall under when it goes ‘mainstream?'” Wohlsen compares the dorkiness factor of Google Glass to the Segway, saying, “Google Glass, like the Segway, is what happens when Silicon Valley spends too much time talking to itself. Maybe that’s even overstating the case: The rhetoric around Google Glass is what happens when important tech people spend a little too much time congratulating each other.” Wohlsen may not be alone — a “Weekend Update” sketch during Saturday Night Live this weekend mocked Google Glass, featuring Fred Armisen as a guy wearing the glasses who has to shake his head repeatedly and say words over and over again, looking dorky the whole time, to try to make it work.
9/11 Museum to Charge Mandatory $20-$25 Admission Fee
The foundation that’s building the 9/11 Museum at the World Trade Center site in lower Manhattan decided last week that there will be a mandatory admission fee of $20 to $25 when the museum opens next year, while the memorial plaza with its twin reflecting pools will remain free. Some relatives of the 9/11 victims aren’t happy about that, among them Janice Testa, whose firefighter brother, Henry Miller Jr. died in the Twin Towers. She told AP, “People are coming to pay their respects and for different reasons. It shouldn’t be a place where you go and see works of art. It should more be like a memorial place like a church that there’s no entry fee.” But the foundation believes a fee is necessary because they’re going to be facing projected operating costs of $60 million a year. Joseph Daniels, the president of the National September 11 Memorial and Museum, said the museum will be free during certain hours every week and will offer student and senior discounts. Some 9/11 family members are supportive of the mandatory fee, with foundation board member Debra Burlingame, whose brother was the pilot of one of the hijacked planes, saying the site is expensive to build on and to protect. She told AP, “The World Trade Center site remains a target of interest among terrorists, so the security has to be robust and relentless. There’s a big price tag on that.”
User Who Makes 50 Billionth Download From Apple App Store Will Get A Prize
As Apple’s App store approaches its 50 billionth download, the company is set to give cash prizes to some lucky users. The person who downloads the 50 billionth app will get a $10,000 App Store Gift Card, while people who download one of the first 50 apps after the milestone is reached can win $500. Apple has put up a special page with an app download counter, which as of early this morning (May 6th) was just past 49,431,000,000. It took five years to reach the milestone after Apple launched the App Store in 2008, and just 14 months to double the download number after reaching 25 billion in March 2012.
Harper Lee Suing Over “Mockingbird”
Harper Lee is suing her literary agent over the copyright to her Pulitzer Prize-winning 1960 novel, To Kill a Mockingbird, with the 87-year-old author claiming that the son-in-law of her long-time literary agent took advantage of her declining hearing and eyesight seven years ago to get her to assign the book’s copyright to him and a company he controlled. The lawsuit says, “The transfer of ownership of an author’s copyright to her agent is incompatible with her agent’s duty of loyalty; it is a gross example of self-dealing.” The son-in-law, Samuel Pinkus, became involved with Lee after her longtime literary agent, Eugene Winick, became ill about a decade ago.
Solar Powered Plane
A solar-powered plane on Saturday (May 4th) finished the first leg of an attempt to fly across the U.S., ending a journey from San Francisco to Phoenix that took 18 hours and 18 minutes. Five legs of the trip are planned for the plane, called the Solar Impulse, with further stops in Dallas, St. Louis and Washington on the way to a final stop in New York. Pauses are planned for each stop to wait for favorable weather, with hopes that the whole trip will take about two months. The co-founders of the project are two Swiss pilots, Bertrand Piccard and Andre Borschberg, who will take turns flying the lightweight, carbon fiber plane, with flies at an average of 43 miles per hour. The aircraft is propelled by energy collected from 12,000 solar cells built into the wings that simultaneously recharge four large batteries. Because of its lightweight design and large wingspan, however, the plane can’t fly in strong wind, fog, rain or clouds.